GOP Nod Sure, McCain Hitting Big-Money Trail
Key Bush donors needed to keep pace with Dems' machine
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2008 12:30 PM CDT
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to reporters during a news conference, Friday, March 28, 2008 in Las Vegas.    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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(Newser) – John McCain has wrapped up his party’s endorsement—but not its money machine, the New York Times reports. McCain faces a tough task in winning over the so-called “Pioneers” and “Rangers,” donors who chipped in $274 million for George W. Bush in 2004. Over half haven’t supported any Republican this election cycle, and only a fraction has contributed for McCain.

McCain has just four finance staff members, and no online operation like those powering the Democrats. “I would hope they might be a little better organized by this point,” said one former Pioneer. But McCain did recently snare top Bush moneymaker Mercer Reynolds. “They’re calling up the old network, and we’re all plugging in,” said one ex-Pioneer. “It’s late, but it’s happening.”